While international stories dominated the weekend front pages, the sums of money available to benefits claimants remained the hot domestic topic, and two Sunday papers added more fuel to the fire by claiming yesterday that "new figures" show that fraud in the welfare system has hit a record high.
It's safe to say the Independent's Voices column was of a different class this week. Commentator and stand-up comedian Mark Steel used his column inches to point out that:
"Ministers are expected to insist that at least nine in 10 people will be better off under the reforms." The Telegraph, January 13, 2012
According to some news aricles this week, South African women are deliberately drinking heavily in order to disable their unborn children, in order to claim relatively generous disability benefits.
As MPs prepare to vote over the Government's plans to cap rises to certain working age benefits and tax credits, newspapers and commentators have been circulating figures on who will be hit hardest as a result of the changes.
2012 was the year that:
Kelvin MacKenzie berated lazy Northerners, alleging that the UK would have an economy like Ethopia's without London and the South East (actually, we'd be ranked with Canada or that BRIC powerhouse, India);
The Spectator told its readers that there was a qualification in "how to claim the dole" (something of an exaggeration);
Support Full Fact
Help make sure inaccurate claims are put right. Give us £10/month:
Click here for more info, or call Will Moy on 020 7242 3883.
Full Fact believes in the possibility of accurate and informed debate. Our factchecks look at whether it is reasonable for people to trust the claims of politicians and journalists based upon the evidence that is available to us. Where we find mistakes, we ask for them to be corrected.
We aim for our factchecks to be as accurate and up-to-date as possible. If you think we have made an error or missed some relevant information, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org